Birds of a Feather: The Great Backyard Bird Count

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If you are a follower of the library or a parent of a child who frequents the library, you might have already seen one or two programs that involve birds (i.e. Every Child Ready to Read: The Great Backyard Bird Count on Feb. 11th). This is because, according to and, February 17th through the 20th is The Great Backyard Bird Count. This international event is celebrated each year in order to engage people to help capture an idea of what the lives of birds are in real time. Bird watchers and lovers from all walks of life are encouraged to help keep a count of the birds that they see in their backyards during this time. According to National Today, there are roughly 10,000 species of birds of all kinds located around the globe! If you read along with NT’s article, you will find that this event was established in 1998 by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the National Audubon Society to collect data on wild birds and then share that information with everyone. How exciting!

In honor of this, the library is teaming up with the Missouri Department of Conservation to bring you and event on February 15th, to learn about bird identification. From 6:00-7:00 pm, join us at the library for Backyard Bird Identification. This all-ages event is meant to help get our community excited about birds. At this event, you will learn to identify birds in our area and get involved in bird conservation by participating in the bird count! A bird count kit will be provided at the end of the session for those interested in participating. Interested? I know I am! 

Want to participate in the count? It’s free to participate! Just report your sightings at and record your findings. Feel free to share images of your findings with others as well. 

Want to get involved in birding before the events kick off? Check out some really cool binoculars from the library and a bird identification book! Or you can use what you have at home, such as a phone to capture images and Google to look up birds based on coloring and where they live. It’s so easy to get out there and get some fresh air and fun activity time. Participate with your family or your friends...or carve out some ‘you’ time and watch by yourself. 

For some bird themed fun activities with your littles, make sure to sign up for Painting Cardinals for ages 9-11 here at the library. This fun art project teaches kids how to draw and paint one of Missouri’s favorite birds!

We hope to see you all at one of these events! Check out our full calendar for more information about upcoming library events.

The library has quite the collection of bird-related materials, but here are a few for both adults and children to learn more about the birds around us!

Birds of North America by François Vuilleumier
Audubon’s Birds of America by John Audubon
Backyard Birds of Illinois by Bill Fenimore
Endangered and Disappearing Birds of the Midwest by Matt William

Birds by Pamela Hickman
National Audubon Society First Field Guide: Birds by Scott Weidensaul
Peterson Field Guide to Birds of Eastern and Central North America by Roger Peterson
Backyard Birds of Winter by Carol Lerner

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